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Class Notes

Discover what’s possible. Browse these features to find out more about the impact of University of Minnesota research, education, and care—and how you can help.

Anne Keating, M.D., with Aaron Weingeist, M.D., and Daniel Briceland, M.D.

Dr. Anne Keating has been recognized for her participation in the Leadership Development Program (LDP) XV, Class of 2013. All LDP alumni were recognized with the 2013 Special Recognition Award during the opening session. Dr. Keating was among a select group of 18 participants chosen for the LDP XV, Class of 2013, from among a large group that was nominated by state, subspecialty, and specialized interest societies.

Elizabeth Seaquist, M.D., says endowed chairs foster the pursuit of novel ideas. (Photo: Jim Bovin)

University of Minnesota professor of medicine and endocrinologist Elizabeth Seaquist, M.D., was recently named President of Medicine and Science, on the Board of Directors for the American Diabetes Association, the nation’s largest voluntary health organization leading the fight to Stop Diabetes®.


Joseph J. Westermeyer, M.D., Ph.D., M.P.H., has been named by the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) as the 2013 recipient of the R. Brinkley Smithers Distinguished Scientist Award. Dr. Westermeyer is being recognized for his continuing support of the ASAM, and his crucial role in guiding alcohol research in America.


Physician and business leader Gregg N. Dyste, M.D., will begin work with at-risk students in an innovative mentoring initiative, Imagine the Possibilities. Dr. Dyste is a highly regarded Twin Cities neurosurgeon who focuses his practice on brain tumors, and conditions and trauma of the brain and spine.


Dr. Frank R. Malin has been honored with a $5 million donation to the Saint Francis Hospital Foundation — the largest in the history of the Foundation. Dr. Malin is a cardiologist at Saint Francis Hospital in San Francisco.


Ellen L. Abeln, M.D., Medical School Class of 1984, has been inducted as a Fellow in the American College of Radiology (ACR). Dr. Abeln is the medical director of the Breast Center of Suburban Imaging in Coon Rapids, and a staff radiologist at Unity Hospital in Fridley and at Mercy Hospital in Coon Rapids. She is a member of the Society of Breast Imaging, the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society, and the American Roentgen Ray Society.

Christopher Wenner, M.D.

Family physician Christopher Wenner, M.D., is also his own nurse, receptionist, accountant, and janitor. And that’s how he likes it.

Three years ago, the 1999 Medical School alumnus got fed up with the constant hurry he faced in his job with a large practice group and decided to become a solo practitioner in Cold Spring, Minn., his hometown.

(Photo courtesy of Richard Stennes, M.D., M.B.A.)

Richard Stennes, M.D., M.B.A., isn’t sure just how many passports he has gone through in his life. When you’ve visited 176 countries as well as the North Pole and Antarctica, that can happen.

The technologies and expertise needed to conduct leading-edge brain imaging research are just part of what has kept endocrinologist Elizabeth Seaquist, M.D., at the University for more than three decades. (Photo: Jim Bovin)

Elizabeth Seaquist, M.D., chose her career path as a young girl while reading the book series about nurse Sue Barton. "I knew when I read them," she says with a laugh, "that I wanted to be the doctor."

So when the Minneapolis Public Schools alumna didn't get top grades at Vassar College and was subsequently rejected by medical schools everywhere—two years in a row—she was mentally and emotionally preparing to move on.

Augustine Biomedical + Design's lobby showcases many of the patent plaques belonging to Scott Augustine, M.D. (Photo: Scott Streble)

Scott Augustine, M.D., has built a career out of being skeptical.

“I question most things,” says Augustine (Class of 1979). “Instead of trying to do what everybody’s always done, what’s a better way of doing this?”

All of that questioning has made Augustine, a self-described “philosophical heretic,” a successful inventor and entrepreneur. Now founder and CEO of Augustine Biomedical + Design, Augustine holds about 150 patents. There’s not enough room in the entry space of his Eden Prairie office building — vaulted ceilings and all — to display the full collection of patent plaques.

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